New Jersey’s drunk driving laws are exceptionally costly – even if it is a first time charge. Jail time is a real possibility. New Jersey’s drunk driving laws require those who have been found guilty of driving while under the influence to pay serious fines. Further, you’ll also lose your driving privileges and, perhaps, the ability to get to and from work.
Here’s what a typical first-time drunk driver will have to pay.
- The initial fine for a drunk driver will be anywhere from $250 to $500, depending on how much you drank (based on your BAC – blood alcohol content.) This money goes straight to the state.
- Your insurance rates will also skyrocket. New Jersey state law requires a $1,000 per year auto insurance surcharge for three years for all convicted DWI defendants. It’s also possible that your insurance will stay high afterward, depending on the insurance carrier’s decision.
- Your license can be suspended anywhere from three to 12 months, depending on your BAC when you were pulled over. (Remember, this is only for the first offense. Subsequent offenses will cost you your driver’s license for much longer.) This means that you will have to pay for taxis and public transportation in order to get to and from work every day.
- If you get a jail sentence for your DUI, which can happen for a first time offense, you might also need to pay bail. This varies greatly depending on how long you are set to stay in jail.
- You also will be hit with a $100 surcharge that will be deposited into the Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund, MVC fees totaling $100, an Intoxicated Driving Program fee of $100, a Violent Crimes Compensation Fund fee of $50, and a Community Program fee of $75. These fees — $425 — are included with every DUI charge you receive.
- Should you have an open container of alcohol in a passenger seat, you also will get another $200 added onto your total.
If you are found guilty of driving drunk, these fines are mandatory as are certain other aspects of penalties associated with DWI/DUI in NJ. Therefore, it is crucial you hire an experienced attorney who can fight for your rights in municipal court. John W. Tumelty is a knowledgeable, successful criminal defense attorney who has been working in the Atlantic City and Cape May courts for decades. He will protect your interests and work tirelessly to get your charges dismissed or downgraded so you avoid the costliest penalties.